The new business means that each week the terminal will handle a total of 11 European services operated by Grand Alliance member lines. To accommodate the expansion, SCT plans to invest £15m ($27m) in two new quayside gantry cranes and eight new straddle carriers. It will also create a number of new jobs.
“We are delighted to see a long-established customer such as the Grand Alliance consolidate their business here at Southampton. Everyone involved in the operation at SCT has worked hard in the past 18 months to improve the terminal’s efficiency levels and this move by the Grand Alliance highlights this success,” said SCT’s managing director, Patrick Walters.
The terminal has introduced a range of new measures to improve efficiency, including a mandatory vehicle booking system and a new gate process, which together have led to a consistent sub-30-minute vehicle turnaround time. Vessel productivity has also improved significantly and SCT has increased its capacity to 2m teu.